For the first time since, I really don't know when, years and years, I spent the night alone in my house last night.
If there is one word for my feelings on the subject it is "conflicted."
From the moment my men drove away for their "guy camping trip," – me at the end of the driveway waving madly and fighting back tears – the inner war began.
Back inside, the house was so.
I had to turn on the radio just to drown out all that roaring silence.
At first, I thought I'd clean, and then I didn't because it felt like wiping away all evidence of the family that lives here. So I wrote and I drew and I slipped into a happy little place of fulfilling work and uninterrupted time in which to do it.
I watched a whole movie and listened to TWO full episodes of Selected Shorts while drawing and painting. And only once did I start to miss the little hands that always demand to pull up a chair and share my paints.
And then I missed them a lot.
I wondered what they were doing.
I ate a dinner of wilted greens with warm mustard and onion dressing and some herbed new potatoes and I never once had to tell anyone to lean over their plate, finish their milk or "just try it, you might find that you like it." I lit a candle and drank wine and wavered between "ahhhhhhh" and missing them.
They called me after dinner and I learned that Ryder crashed on his bike and suffered a rather large lump on the head. Each boy in turn told me, in barely contained glee, that the crash was "like HUGE" and that he screamed "something awful" and there was "blood everywhere" and in the background I heard their Papa saying, "Guys knock it off. You're going to worry your mom!"
And then, "Daddy let him have FIVE marshmallows and we only got THREE!"
I hear in the background, Ryder sing-songing "fiiiiiiive! I got fiiiiiive!" and I say, "did you brush your teeth?"
I know, I know. It is good for them to do this whole guy thing. They are out there with with their Dad, and also another Dad and sons. They are fishing and spitting and Papa's letting them swim further than I would and probably get closer to the fire too. And sometimes that's good.
And it's good for me too… this time to breathe and work and rest and be. And also to step back, gain some perspective and see that all that crazy noise and mess and chaos that usually lives here, those things that sometimes get on my last good nerve… really, they are precious to me. It's hard to go just one day without them.
I went to bed last night, and it felt strange to be the only one breathing in this place. No creaking oldest boy's bed. No giggles and up-too-late whispering. No papa bear's rumbly night breathing. And the knowledge, both bitter and sweet, that there would be no wee feet climbing in bed and winding up in my back. There would be no clamoring for breakfast in the morning.
Now, by the light of day, with my time in the quiet winding down, I'm still conflicted. There's so much still that I could accomplish, finishing projects and cleaning and, and and… but they will be home too soon for me to get it all done!
They will be home soon!
Not soon enough!
I'm going to kiss them 'til their skin wrinkles when they walk in that door!